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Mars rallies to beat Clearfield

CLARION, Pa. – John Castello poured in 29 points and the WPIAL third seed Mars Fightin’ Planets pulled away from District 9 Class AAA champion Clearfield for a 68-60 first-round state playoff win Friday night at Clarion High School.

Castello and the Planets (20-6) held off a Clearfield squad that also got a big game from junior Tommy Hazel, who scored 25 points. Hazel hit six 3-pointers, three of them coming in the first quarter and had 24 points going into the fourth quarter.

Bison junior Will Myers needed eight points to reach 1,000 career points and wound up with 10 points. He’s the first Clearfield boy to reach four digits since Mike McCorkle did it in 1997.

Clearfield (23-3) led 38-37 at halftime and 54-52 after three quarters before Mars finished things off with a 10-point fourth-quarter edge. Robby Carmody and Christian Schmitt also reached double figures for Mars with 17 and 11 points respectively.

Mars meets District 10 champion Strong Vincent Tuesday at a site and time to be determined. Strong Vincent beat WPIAL sixth seed Hampton, 71-51.

MARS 68, CLEARFIELD 60

Score By Quarters

Mars                        23            14            15            16            –            68

Clearfield            22            16            16            6            –            60

Mars – 68

Aaron Gruber 1 0-0 3, Alex Gruber 4 0-0 8, John Castello 12 5-7 29, Baily Trzerciak 0 0-0 0, Steve Castello 0 0-0 0, Sam Morrisey 0 0-0 0, Christian Schmitt 3 3-5 11, Robby Carmody 8 0-1 17, Nate Sablowski 0 0-0 0. Totals: 28 8-13 68.

Clearfield – 60

Evan Brown 3 2-2 9, David McKenzie 2 2-5 6, Tommy Hazel 8 1-4 25, Wil Myers 3 3-4 10, Cody Spaid 5 0-0 10, Caleb Strouse 0 0-0 0, Carter Wood 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 8-15 60.

3-pointers: Clearfield 8 (Hazel 6, Brown, Myers), Mars 4 (Aa. Gruber, Schmitt 2, Carmody).

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